Secretary of State Karen Handel, who has been in her job less than three years, said today she will resign to put all her efforts toward running for governor.
Handel’s decision will allow her to raise money during the 2010 legislative session, which begins Jan. 11. Under state law, lawmakers and elected officials can’t raise money during legislative sessions.
Former Senate leader Eric Johnson of Savannah quit the General Assembly earlier this year to boost his gubernatorial campaign as well.
“The people of Georgia need to know I am all in for the governor’s race,” Handel said. “This decision allows me to focus 100 percent on becoming the Republican nominee and winning in November.”
Some of the other GOP candidates, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, Rep. Austin Scott and Sen. Jeff Chapman, will be barred from raising money during the session.
Handel said she also is resigning to steer clear of any potential accusations that she is using her office to benefit her campaign. The Secretary of State’s office handles election and voting issues.